Purim, the Feast of Lots, is observed on the fourteenth day of the Biblical month of Adar (usually February or March on the Gregorian calendar). This is a celebration of the deliverance of the Hebrew people in the Persian Empire over one of the most dastardly plots in history to exterminate them. The biblical book of Esther tells the story of how the beautiful Hebrew woman Esther (Hebrew: Hadassah) and her cousin Mordecai thwart the evil Haman, who plots to massacre the Hebrew people in a jealous rage.
The book of Esther has been referred to as “a monument in the history of anti-Semitism.” The anti-Semitism shown in the book of Esther is ethnically and religiously based, in contrast to the type that is shown in later Hellenistic-Roman literature through to today which is purely ethnic hatred. The Hebrew people have faced elimination as a group many times through ancient, medieval, and modern societies. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” (Psalm 83:4B)
Many people are unaware of this, but Yeshua (Jesus) celebrated the feast of Purim! In John 5, the Lord Yeshua is in Jerusalem for an unnamed feast. Scholars have debated whether the feast was Passover, Purim, Sukkot or even Pentecost. Some have objected to Purim because it is referred to as a “minor” feast and not one of the three “major” pilgrimage festivals (Deuteronomy 16:16). However this argument is irrelevant because Yeshua also celebrated another “minor” holiday, Hanukkah (English: Dedication), as referenced in John 10:22.
Chronologically, the only feast that makes sense is Purim in 28 CE. The feast of John 5 fell on a Sabbath (vs. 9). The only feast day to fall on a Sabbath between 25 and 35 CE was Purim of 28 CE. Some speculate that the Spirit of G-d intentionally left out the name of the feast because G-d’s Name was deliberately left out of the Book of Esther. In John 5, Yeshua healed a man who had an infirmity for 38 years near the Pools of Bethesda (John 5:1-9). It is also the first time in His public ministry that He declared, “G-d was His Father, making Himself equal with G-d” (5:18). He also said that He was the “Son of G-d” (5:25) and the “Son of Man” (5:27).